President Donald Trump said he has spoken with Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden about the nation’s response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic in a “really wonderful,” phone call.
Speaking at his White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on April 6, Trump said he “appreciated” the exchange between the two and described the conversation as “warm” and “friendly.”
“I also spoke just a few minutes ago with former Vice President Biden who called and we had a really wonderful, warm conversation, it was a very nice conversation,” Trump told reporters, adding that the political rivals had mainly spoken about the current CCP virus pandemic as “this is what everyone is talking about, this is what they want to talk about.”
“And he gave me his point of view, and I fully understood that, and we just had a very friendly conversation. Lasted probably 15 minutes and it was really good, really good, really nice. I appreciate him calling,” he said.
Biden’s campaign also issued a brief statement reiterating Trump’s summary of the phone call, and said that Biden had offered the president a number of suggestions for tackling the pandemic during their conversation.
“Vice President Biden and President Trump had a good call,” campaign spokesperson Kate Bedingfield wrote on Twitter. “VP Biden shared several suggestions for actions the administration can take now to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and expressed his appreciation for the spirit of the American people in meeting the challenges facing the nation.”
During Monday’s press conference, Trump said that he and Biden had agreed they would not reveal the specific details of their conversation and declined to elaborate on what suggestions Biden had made, but noted that he had not agreed with all of them.
“He had suggestions,” Trump said. “It doesn’t mean that I agree with those suggestions but certainly he had suggestions, and I also told him some of the things we’re doing. But the conversation was a friendly, very friendly conversation.”
Biden had previously said that he wanted to speak with Trump in the hope that the president could “learn some lessons” from the Obama administration on how to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
“We’ve been through this in a slightly different way in the past, and I hope they can learn some lessons from what we did right and maybe what we did wrong,” the former vice president said during a virtual press briefing last week.
However, on Monday morning prior to his announcement, Trump said no such conversation had taken place as of yet and appeared to poke fun at the former vice president.
“Joe Biden wanted the date for the Democrat National Convention moved to a later time period. Now he wants a “Virtual” Convention, one where he doesn’t have to show up. Gee, I wonder why? Also, what ever happened to that phone call he told the Fake News he wanted to make to me?” Trump tweeted. In response to the president’s tweet, Biden said he was “happy to discuss anytime.”
Biden, who is currently the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, has been forced to continue running his campaign from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, conducting live video feeds and interviews as the CCP virus continues to spread across the globe.
The former vice president had previously criticized Trump for failing to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) early, which he said would ramp up the scale of production of ventilators, “masks and gowns … and shields and all the things our first responders and doctors need.” Speaking to NBC, Biden questioned why the administration was “waiting,” adding, “we know they’re needed, they’re going to be increasingly needed.”
Last week, the White House announced Trump was invoking the DPA order, allowing his administration to work with companies to ramp up the production of ventilators which are desperately needed amid the ongoing crisis.